Water misuse may land you in jail!

PHE issues public notice, warns of inspection, serious action

Waking up to rampant misuse of potable water for activities like gardening, construction work and vehicle washing, the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department Thursday shot public notification cautioning that violators could face penalty including imprisonment of upto one year.

A day after Greater Kashmir highlighted the issue, the PHE Chief Engineer, AM Lankar shot  the notification stating: “Inspite of repeated appeals made by the Department through print and  electronic media, numerous complaints relating to misuse of potable water are being received by the Provincial Control Room of the Department everyday.”
“Most of the consumers have developed  very strong addictive compulsions of using online booster pumps for excessive storage of water, watering of lawns/gardens, washing of  vehicles, constructional activities etc; thus giving a damn to the problems they create for the population residing in their localities/ neighborhoods,” reads the notification which has come barely a day after District Development Commissioner Farooq Ahmed Shah chaired a crucial meeting directing PHE to act tough against misuse of water.
In the public notification, added: “As per the J&K Water Resources (Regulation & Management) Act 2010, supply of water for drinking purposes shall not be deemed to include a supply for washing of vehicles, watering of lawn or garden and building purposes or for construction activity.”
“These consumers are committing offences in light of Chapter XII Sec 159 of  the J&K Water Resources (Regulation & Management) Act 2010, at page 78, that reads in  explicit terms that ‘Whoever dishonestly uses water for the purpose other than for which the usage of water was authorized OR installs pump on the main or any other distribution pipeline for drawal of water, adversely affecting supply of water to others, shall be liable, on conviction, to be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to rupees five thousand or with both.’”
“In light of the powers vested with the Department, as laid down in Chapter III Sec. 21, at page 17, of the J&K Water Resources (Regulation & Management) Act 2010, the Department is initiating a forceful drive to seize all the online booster pumps and flexible pipes immediately from these premises for eradication of the menace, that is putting the sensible consumers & the department as well, to a lot of inconvenience,” the notification added.